29 Oct Changes to Owners Corporation Act 2006 – Common Property
In regard to common property the following changes have been implemented from 1 December 2021
Owner Altering Common Property
An owner must not repair, alter or maintain:
- common property; or
- a common service serving more than one lot
without the written consent of the owners corporation.
If an owner carries out works without consent:
- there is no obligation to reimburse the owner for any expense incurred.
- the owner may be required reinstate any affected common property or services.
Tier 1 and 2 owners corporations are now required to prepare and implement a maintenance plan. Owners corporations in tiers 3 to 5 may prepare and approve a plan but are not obliged to do so.
Previously only prescribed owners corporation required prepare a maintenance plan but there was no obligation to approve it.
The maintenance plan is a 10 year program for the maintenance and replacement of the capital assets of the owners corporation which which sets out:
- the current state of repair;
- when repair or replacement will be required;
- estimated cost of the repair or replacement;
- expected life after the repair or replacement has been carried out.
By having a maintenance plan an owners corporation can provide for future works with some certainty of funding.
For an owners corporation which is now required to approve the maintenance plan there is a grace period for implementation which is as follows:
- a tier 1 owners corporation has 12 months from 1 December 2021.
- a tier 2 owners corporation has 24 months from 1 December 2021
A maintenance plan may be amended if approved by ordinary resolution.
If an owners corporation adopts a maintenance plan, an amount sufficient to fund the plan must be included in the annual fees (budget). This will require an amendment to the budget for owners corporations which do not currently have a maintenance plan but are now required to approve one. An owners corporation may also determine other amount to be transferred in the fund such as part of the accumulated surplus of the maintenance fund.
Any rain or other water which falls or flows on common property other than a waterway or a bore is taken be part of the common property. For the purposes of the Water Act 1989 the owners corporation is responsible for that water.
If there is unreasonable flow of water from the common property the owners corporation may be responsible. It should attend promptly to any report of a water flow such as from a common property roof or inadequate drainage on the common property causing a backflow.